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Additional MUST READ: The REAL Parable of the 10 Virgins

What you are about to read is the “REAL” interpretation of what the “Sign of the Son of Man” actually is.  The statement can be made with complete confidence because there are at least three other Bible verses that bear witness to this, with one of them providing an actual picture of the event happening.  These verses will be provided, so you will need to make a decision as to whether you want to believe the Word of God or the words om men.

 You have not heard this interpretation from anyone before and you will not find it in any of the Christian Bible commentaries.  If you read the published commentaries out there concerning this sign you will see that there is not much agreement and that none of them really know what it is.  This should boggle the mind for one great big giant reason.  How can anyone presume that no one will know when the rapture will take place or what the interpretation for the verses that follow are when they don’t even know what the “Sign of the Son of Man” is?  If the Rapture could happen at any moment, why would our Lord be providing a sign?  The fact that there is a sign means there is something to be watched for, which completely goes against what we have been taught.

Knowing the interpretation of the following verses is very important because once you know it, the way you interpret the verses that follow should change.  Once you understand what the sign actually is, it will allow you to better understand what verses are to be taken literally and what verses should be interpreted figuratively.  Once you understand what this sign is you will see that if you have no idea when the rapture is going to take place, you are probably going to miss it! 

After you read this, you will need to read the “Parable of the 10 Virgins” of the very next chapter Matthew 25.  Knowing the “Sign of the Son of Man” is the missing link that allows you to understand the “REAL” interpretation of the parable.  The “Sign of the Son of Man” is the information the 5 foolish virgins did not possess and it is the reason why they were left behind.  It is EXTREMELY important that you understand and combine the knowledge of Matthew 24 and 25.  The information found in these two chapters is vital in determining whether you know the Word of God (Jesus Christ) well enough to be taken or left behind.  Link to: The REAL Parable of the 10 Virgins (Matthew 25)

You may have doubts about what is coming next, but did you know there are a number of verses that specifically warn about this?  You probably don’t as these verses have been wrongly interpreted in the way we spoke of previously.  The literal have been made to be only figurative and the figurative have been interpreted to be only literal.


Analytical Bible Expositor (Matthew 24:27)

The velocity of lightning As the lightning cometh Lightning is characterized by speed and suddenness. When looking at a stormy sky, suddenly lightning will streak across the sky. Christ’s return will be like that. In the midst of stormy conditions on the earth, suddenly Christ will return.

Bible Exposition Commentary

Matthew 24:27 indicates that the return of Jesus to the earth will be sudden, like a stroke of lightning.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Dallas Seminary)

And His coming will be like lightning flashing from the east… to the west; it will be a splendorous, visible event

The MacArthur Bible Commentary

The sign of the Son of Man, i.e., the Son of Man Himself is the sign.


Matthew 24:27 (KJV)

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

As you see from the above examples, commentaries will tell you that this means it will happen extremely quickly as a flash of lightning.  The rest of them will tell you that the “sign of the Son of Man” is Jesus Christ himself; however neither of these is correct.  This verse only gives us a small portion of what the “Sign of the Son of Man” is; and this verse is stating just the opposite of what most people believe it to be saying.  The actual sign is revealed in the 4 verses that follow, beginning with verse 27 and ending with verse 31.

The “lightning” spoken of here is not a “bolt” of lightning, nor does it have anything to do with the speed or quickness of lightning.  This becomes obvious when you go back to the original Greek word used for “lightning.” Strongs Lightning 796

As you can see from Strong’s Greek Dictionary the word “lightning” is better stated “bright shining” or “shining brightness.” Lightning does not shine; it flashes.   Also notice the word “glare” is listed.  “Glare” is not an accurate description of lightning.  The verse itself uses the word “shineth” or “shines;” as in ” shineth even to the west;” so why do so many commentaries connect this with lightning when it is so obvious that this verse does not speak of lightning?

The Sun itself is the lightning spoken of in this verse.  Lightning does not come out of the east and shine to the west; but the Sun does.  “This verse simply stated says that “as the sun (bright shining) goes from the east to the west, the same will happen when the Son of Man appears.”  In other words, when Christ comes for us it will happen in the same way and with the same timing or speed as the sun rising in the east and going to the west.   In other words, it will be occurring at the rotational speed of the earth. It will be a 24 hour event which just happens just as a normal day.  However; there is more to it than just this, and as you are about to find out, this “day” will be anything but normal.

Matthew 24:28 (KJV)

For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Jesus was just informing us as to what the earliest sign of the coming of the Son of man would be.  Since this verse starts with the word “For,” it must be connected to or a continuation of the previous verse.  All of the newer translations have replaced the word “eagles” with “vultures.”

New Living Translation (NLT)

Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.

New International Version (NIV)

Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

English Standard Version (ESV)

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather.

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Living Bible (TLB)

And wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather.

New American Bible (NAB)

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

In addition to all the new Bibles changing the word “eagles” to “vultures,” all of the new commentaries say that in this verse the “eagles” probably refers to “vultures” since eagles do not feed on dead flesh or animals.  The problem is “Where in this verse does it say anything about these eagles feeding on dead carcasses?”

Our Lord knows the difference between an eagle and a vulture and would not haveStrongs Eagle 105 made this mistake; or any mistake for that matter!  If you look at the meaning of the original Greek word for “eagles” you will find it is “aetos” and its meaning is “wind like flight.” 

When the Son of man appears in the heavens next, it will be for the Rapture of His saints.  They will be changed from their physical body into their spiritual body in the “twinkling of an eye.”  The dead corpses will fall to the ground and the transformed spiritual bodies will be transported straight up to an altitude where they can be easily gathered together by His angels.  After they are transported up to an altitude where they can easily be gathered by His angels, they will hoover like an eagle in “wind like flight” until they are gathered by an angel and carried off to the uttermost part of the heavens.  So it is the descriptive words of the name of the eagle that should have been used in this verse and not the name “eagle” itself.  The absolute proof that what you have just read is correct is found just a few verses down from here where this very same event will be further detailed and verified.

Matthew 24:29 (KJV)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days  Please take note that it was just demonstrated that “those days” stretches from the time of Christ, all the way to the time which is about to be described, which is the time of the Rapture.  This time adds up to almost 2000 years, so to set aside 3½ years of tribulation and 3½ years of great tribulation is ridiculous.  Not to forget that Jesus told us that while we are in the world we will always have tribulation.

Shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light This could be as many believe the description of a solar eclipse and a new moon.  However, Shall the sun be darkenedis also the description of an event which happens every day, 365 days a year during the evening hours.  This is going to sound like an oversimplification to many, but all this is telling usnew-moon-chart is the rapture will take place at night; but as you probably know, this will not be just any ordinary night! 

The moon shall not give her light tells us what night.  This is the description of the “new moon” phase which happens once every 29½ days.  When the moon is on the lightened or daylight side of the earth the backside of the moon is toward the sun. Thus the side of the moon we see does not receive sunlight, so it cannot reflect any sunlight. Thus during this day which occurs every 29½ days, we are not able to see moon.  This is called the “new moon.” 

Since the Jews go by a lunar calendar each “new moon” begins a new calendar month.  The Feast of Trumpets is also called the “New Moon” in Jewish tradition because it is the only feast held on the first day or “new moon” of the month.  The new moon is mentioned many times in the Bible, but most Christians have no idea what is is.  The first part of this is simply stating that the Rapture will occur at night on the night of the “New Moon.”  This is the first indication in this chapter that tells us the Rapture will happen on the Feast of Trumpets or Tishri 1 on the Hebrew calendar.

And the stars shall fall from heaven This cannot be taken literally as stars cannot literally fall from heaven.  This verse is telling us that the light from the stars is going to appear and then disappear; making it seem as though they fell from the sky.  What would cause such an event?  Did you ever stand under a street light at night and notice that when you looked up toward the sky you could not see the stars because the brightness of the street light was the brighter light?  It is this same type of thing that is going to happen during the Rapture as our Lord explains what will cause this in the next part of the sentence.

And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken If taken literally this would have something to do with light, gravitational pull, or electromagnetic fields.  God’s Word does furnish us with the real meaning of this verse.  However, we must go all the way back to the book of Genesis when God made the sun and the moon.  In God’s plan, one needs to know the beginning before one can know the end!

Genesis 1:16-18 (KJV)

16And God made two great lights; the greater light (sun)to rule the day, and the lesser light (moon) to rule the night: he made the stars also.17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Here he is making it clear that the power must be that of light.  The Sun or “greater light” has power or rules over the day and the moon and the “lesser light” rules over the night.  The verse says power(s) of the heavens plural; so it is the power of both these rulers that will be shaken.  Remember, this is happening on the “New Moon” when the moon is on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, so the moon will not be shedding its light on the dark side of the earth. This means that something else will have to be providing light.  Since He already told us in verse 27 that the coming of the Son of man shall be like a regular day with the light coming from the east and going to the west, we know it is going to happen just like the average day we have known all our lives; the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  So what will make this day different? 

Later in this chapter it tells us that if the ruler (goodman) of the house would have known what “watch” the thief would come, he would have watched.  A watch is one of four 3 hour night shifts or watches.  Mark chapter 13 names these watches and provides us with the reason why the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Mark 13:35 (KJV)

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning:

Every one of these watches takes place during a time of no or very little sunlight.  Since we already know it is during the time of the “new moon” when the moon is on the side of the earth where the sunlight is, this is telling us that the Rapture will occur during the night hours.  Verse 27 told us there will be a “bright shining” that comes from the east and goes to the west; thus it will be like day on both sides of the earth.  This will definitely shake up the powers of the heavens as who ever heard of it being noon day bright in the middle of the night?  This bright light on the dark or night side of the earth will also cause the light from the stars of heaven to fall or fail.  The power of the moon will be shaken because it will be the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord giving the light to the dark side of the Earth.  The power of the Sun will be shaken because it will be brighter than noon day bright with our Lord providing light to the Earth that only the sun is supposed to provide.  This is exactly what our great and wonderful Savior does both figuratively and literally; He changes the darkness into light.  Our Lord spelled this scenario out for us in the beginning of Revelation 18, but it seems that no one has ever connected it with the Rapture.  Note: “Another angel” spoken of here is Jesus Christ, just as it is in other chapters of Revelation.

Revelation 18:1,4 (KJV)

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Does this not form a picture of the Rapture in your mind?  The image of the brightness of our Lord lighting the Earth and a voice coming from heaven saying “Come out of her My people.” 

If this is not enough to convince you, there are two verses in the Old Testament that also speak of this day and make it quite clear as to what time of day the Rapture will take place.

Zechariah 14:7 (KJV)

But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

Isaiah 24:23 (KJV)

Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

The moon shall be confoundedbecause the moon was given the power to furnish the light for the night side of the Earth and now our Lord Jesus Christ will be doing the moons work.

And the sun ashamed because the brightness of our Lords glory will be brighter than the light of the Sun when He provides the light for the night side of the Earth.

Matthew 24:30 (KJV)

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

We are told what the “Sign of the Son of Man” is in verse 27 but we are not given enough information to really understand what it is.  Next in verse 28 we are told what will happen when this sign appears, but we are not given enough information to totally grasp what it means.  Verse 29 tells us when it will happen.  It will happen on the “New Moon” which is the only day of the month that the moon does not give its light.  It is also the day which designates the Feast of Trumpet in the “Feasts of the Lord.”  We are not provided the year of the Rapture but we are given enough information to know it will happen during the night hours.  Verse 30 tells us what is going to happen when the “sign of the Son of Man appears and verse 31 provides us with further details which allows us to understand what verses 27 and 28 are telling us.

Do you see a pattern here?  It is doubtful that anyone would be able to understand the bright shining or the eagles by just looking at those verses alone.  But when you do the research and look at verses that relate to the verses in question, you can know the answers.  Just as our Lord spoke in parables to encourage us to seek, so has He done regarding His prophetic revelations.  The Word of God tells us that He is a rewarder of all that diligently seek Him.  All the information we need is found in His Word, we just have to sincerely seek Him first.

Matthew 24:31 (KJV)

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect (eagles of verse 28) from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

–And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpetThis is your second indication in Matthew 24 that tells us the Rapture will happen during the Feast of Trumpets (New Moon) as this was the only feast that features the blowing of the trumpet or “shofar”.  This verse is a continuation and clarification for verse 28.Jet Stream X

And they shall gather together his elect from the four windsBelieve it or not this actually tells us what altitude His elect will be transported up to when they are gathered together.  The four winds named here were discovered during World War II.  We call these winds the “jet stream.’  There are four of them; two in each hemisphere.  Each hemisphere has one Polar and one Subtropical stream.

If we would add to the “Sign of the Son of Man” what our Lord has revealed to us in Revelation 6:14 we now have a pretty complete picture of the events that will take place during the Rapture or His saints. 

Revelation 6:14 (KJV)

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

The picture below shows the events as described in this verse.  It gives us a picture of what the events will look like as viewed from the heavens with the earth rotating like one end of a scroll and the angels gathering the saints in the rotation of the other end of the scroll as it is being rolled together.  Now you know why the Rapture will take 24 hours to complete and you can see the extremely organized fashion in which our wonderful Savior will carry it out!

43 Rapture Image

Luke 17:32 reminds us to “Remember Lot’s wife” and do not look back.  Also, remember Peter walking on the water when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink.  A 35,000 foot fall has got to hurt even a spiritual body!

Return to Book Home and Contents Page: The Appointed Time of Christ’s Return

Additional MUST READ: The REAL Parable of the 10 Virgins

Book: The Appointed Time of Christ’s Return

Book Introduction (Read for more info contained in the book)

  1. The REAL 4th Kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream  (Daniel 2)
  2. The REAL King of Babylon  (Isaiah 14)
  3. The REAL Beast of Revelation 13
  4. The REAL Beast that was and is not; And the Great Whore (Revelation 17)
  5. The REAL 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse  (Revelation 6)
  6. The REAL First 4 Trumpets of Revelation 8
  7. The REAL 4 Angels of Revelation 9 And the Plague of Islam
  8. The REAL Woman, Dragon and Flood of Revelation 12
  9. The REAL 2 Witnesses of Revelation 11
  10. The REAL 70 Weeks of Daniel 9
  11. The FEASTS OF THE LORD; The Appointed Time of Christ’s Return
  12. The REAL Sign of the Son of Man; and Signs of the End (Matthew 24)
  13. The REAL Parable of the 10 Virgins (Matthew 25)
  14. The Fall Feast Days as Revealed in the Book of Revelation  (Revelation 6,7,8,11)
  15. The Warning to the Church of Laodicea; the Church of Today  (Revelation 3)
  16. The 6th Seal is Opened; Are You Ready for what’s Next?
  17. The Book in Review